Sky News reports that retailers continue to warn that the instigation of import controls at the end of the current transition period (next January) will severely restrict the availability of products and cause “severe disruption” to shoppers.
The warning came as the media said that official reports indicate that government officials have conceded that a so-called ‘smart border’ with simplified checks and systems cannot be delivered before 2025.
Michael Gove, who is in charge of Brexit planning for the government stressed, “The UK will be outside the single market and outside the customs union, so we will have to be ready for the customs procedures and regulator checks that will inevitably follow.
“As a result of that we will be in a stronger position, not just to make sure that our economy succeeds outside the European Union but that we are in a position to take advantage of new trading relationships with the rest of the world.”
Andrew Opie, director of food and sustainability at the British Retail Consortium, said, “Government will need to move fast if it intends to provide the necessary infrastructure to carry out full border controls on imported goods from January 2021. Without the necessary infrastructure up and running from day one, consumers in the UK will see significant disruption, particularly in the availability of fresh fruit and vegetables.”
Photo Caption: The BRC has warned that additional customs checks will cause significant disruption to the availability of fruit and vegetables
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons